Shortly after the general left a messenger from Battery 11, closely followed by one from Fort Stedman, communicated the facts of the case to brigade headquarters, and the Fifty-ninth Massachusetts were directed to attack at Battery 11 with vigor and carry it at the point of the bayonet if captured, and re-enforce the works if not. The Fifty-seventh directed to advance similarly on Fort Stedman. After about an hour's desperate fighting, in which the works were carried back and forth several times, the troops were compelled to retire, part in the direction of Fort Haskell, and part toward the railroad. The One hundredth Pennsylvania had meantime been deployed at right angle with their line of works, covered a line of skirmishers, but being unable to stem the torrent, divided, three companies going to the old line of works in the rear of their camp and the remainder to Fort Haskell. A skirmish line of the Third Maryland Battalion had meantime been thrown out well supported, and upon this portions of the brigade were rallied, and this line prevented the result the enemy evidently had in view, of taking Fort Haskell in reverse. The Fifty-seventh Massachusetts had meantime been forced back to the ridge near Battery Dunn, but there made head against the enemy. Before 6 o'clock the Two hundred and eighth Pennsylvania, which had been sent to our assistance from the Third Division, was put in near brigade headquarters and advanced to the old line of works in rear of the camp of the One hundredth Pennsylvania Volunteers, and shortly after other re-enforcements came from the direction of Meade's Station. The Fifty-seventh Massachusetts, deployed as skirmishers, advanced, covering this line, and by a succession of brilliant skirmish charges recovered the slope on which their camp had stood and the crest above it overlooking Fort Stedman. At this time (about 8.30 a.m.) it was noticed that the frequent slight advantages we had been gaining since the artillery positions were carried had discouraged the enemy, and that even a dash of a skirmish line would break a partially formed line of battle, and it was resolved to make a determined effort to recover the works. At this time I received notice from General Hartranft that he was advancing and would carry the works in fifteen minutes, but catching sight of the approaching line, seeing the demoralized condition of the enemy, and fearful that a large amount of prisoners might be lost by longer delay, it was determined to dash on the enemy at once, and the troops collected at the left, consisting of the largest part of the Third Maryland Battalion, the One hundredth Pennsylvania, fragments of the Twenty-ninth and Fifty-ninth Massachusetts, the Fort Haskell battalion of the Fourteenth New York Artillery, and what was left of the Fort Stedman battalion, charged up the line and along the works, carrying the trenches and batteries as far as Fort Stedmaan, into which almost immediately, from a direction about perpendicular to the line of our charge, came a portion of the Third Division. By 9 a.m. the line of works was in our possession again, with all its artillery.
From the time of the first assault until the close, the artillery at Fort Haskell was plied with vigor, and was very effective, and the well-directed infantry fire and the noble courage of the men, in and around the fort, baffled every attempt to assault it. Battery 12 (First Connecticut Heavy Artillery) kept up an effective fire during the early part of the engagement, and the gun detachments kept well at the front after being driven out, and went up in the charge which gave us the line anew, at once reoccupying the battery and serving the mortars.